Phalaenopsis orchids have been regenerated by inducing protocorm-like bodies (PLBs) from etiolated leaf sections. However, the physiological and molecular mechanisms of secondary PLB development and subsequent proliferation have not been explored. Bisectionally cutting primary PLBs resulted in more secondary PLBs at 5 weeks, suggesting an embryogenic stem cell property imposed by wounding of primary PLB tissues. The ethylene precursors ethephon and 1-aminocyclopropanecarboxylic acid and the ethylene perception inhibitor silver nitrate increased PLB formation, while aminoethoxyvinylglycine decreased PLB formation. Ethylene content in wounded PLB explants increased over culture time in media containing ethylene precursors or inhibitors.